Charles has written 83 reviews for films during 2018.

  • The Eyes of My Mother

    The Eyes of My Mother

    ★★★★

    Loneliness and murder in the country. 

    As it’s lead, Magalhãese is able to elicit sympathy and revulsion in equal measure.

  • The Boy

    The Boy

    ★★★

    A couple of nasty-weird turns in the English countryside.

  • Love in a Fallen City

    Love in a Fallen City

    ★★★

    I wish I’d known about Cora Miao before now. Also: early 80s Chow Yun-Fat just sweats charisma.

    I half-wish the two would reunite for a remake.

  • Never Goin' Back

    Never Goin' Back

    ★★★½

    It’s like a dirtbag companion to The Florida Project. 

    Unabashedly messy teens in a low-stakes series of misadventures. The commitment to their messiness and lack of vision beyond what happens tomorrow works because it always remains empathetic with its leads.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★

    I appreciate the hell out of the craft. It’s a technical masterpiece that mostly left me cold anytime the focus was off (Cleo) Alitzia Aparacio. 

    It felt like the beautific, middle class recollections of a poor person’s experiences.

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    ★★★★

    Gorgeous - I definitely need to see it again.

  • Aquaman

    Aquaman

    ★★½

    This movie does the most, then does 25% more. Exhausting but that almost feels like it’s the point?

    Give James Wan an aquatic horror movie.

  • The World Is Yours

    The World Is Yours

    ★★★

    Clever. A production that uglies up the incredible Vincent Cassel.

  • Strange Days

    Strange Days

    ★★★½

    The darkest thing about watching Strange Days in 2018 is how far we’ve come. Back in 1995, the murder of an unarmed black man by the police had the power to jolt us. 

    In the week that I’m writing this, it’s been four days since Emantic Bradford was killed by police and it’s hardly the third or even fifth most discussed story in the U.S.

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★

    Very little to get worked up over one way or another. I’m bored to death with middle-aged white bread nihilism.

  • Widows

    Widows

    ★★★★

    Exquisite. From top to bottom.

  • Ghost Stories

    Ghost Stories

    ★★★

    Martin Freeman does a Devil’s barker act like nobody’s business. If it weren’t for Alex Lawther’s hollowed-out, haunted performance, Freeman might be the MVP of this triptych of spooky tales. 

    The bummer of it all is that the whole thing is wrapped in a series of reveals that just don’t work, throwing new information at the viewer that lacks impact, re seeing the whole thing moot. 

    Seriously, though - Lawther and Freeman are great.